WESTERN WISDOM, Season 5, Episode 18, "Over the Willows Ahead!" audio podcast by award-winning western author Stephen Bly. Old West warning on the cattle trail. Sponsored by BlyBooks.com Legacy Series. "Over the Willows Ahead!" blog post article found here: https://www.blybooks.com/2023/06/the-willows/
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Over The Willows
Well, it was getting to be springtime up in the mountains and most of the cricks and streams were running over the willows. Not that we have many willows up here in the forest. But it’s just an Old West term that means high water.
If a trail boss rode back to the herd after he had been scouting up ahead and declared that the river was over the willows, it meant that the water was at flood stage. It would be several hundred yards of swimming the herd. It was not a phrase any man wanted to hear. Chances were good that many a cow would drown. And there was a mighty fair chance of loosing a horse. And even a rider as well.
Flood waters have sent chills into the hearts of mankind ever since the days of Noah, I suppose. If you’ve never experienced the unstoppable power of raging water to change and destroy all in its path, you’ve probably spent most of your life in the Sahara.
But according to the Lord’s promise, we don’t have to worry about this earth being destroyed by floods ever again, do we? Nope. It won’t be destroyed by flood.
But the term over the willows is still descriptive of the events of those last days when God’s just wrath will finally be turned loose on a world that seems to delight in ignoring Him.
Isaiah 24:18 says in that day “The floodgates of heaven are opened, and the foundations of the earth shake.”
Jesus used the analogy of great flood to describe those last days before his return. He said, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man” (Matthew 24:37-39).
You see, a judgement more powerful and lasting than a flood is coming on this world for all except those who have accepted the invitation to enter the ark. It will take a personal commitment to Jesus Christ to escape the terror of that day.
It’s something you ought to seriously consider since many sincere folds think the spiritual waters are already over the willows.